Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday Poem

Leaving the Bones

We go hard rubbish collecting - the kids, my mother, me
and enough space in the back for a bookcase
- we're always after bookcases -
or someone's armchair, stool,
discarded cooking magazines from the 70s.
I grew up - you want me to say -
scavenging -
and that was part of it,
but there was also bricolage
around the kitchen table
waiting for ink to dry, bread to finish baking
spinning out the honey of the night.

The night of hard rubbish we find;
a small bookcase,
most of a street light - rare and wonderful! -
a wooden table complete with varnished map
and a handful of memories we pass each other
on the drive back up to the hills,
where you're already asleep,
all your doings for the day lined up
tomorrow's ready to be ticked when done.
We lost the torch - but found a street light
there's poetry in that - but you turn away
annoyed. I want to tell you that some nights
you just have to trust the stars are there
but what's the use?  Once you kept spiders
in your pockets, picked up snakes - the years
make us cautious, cranky. Look, I'll find the torch,
let's kiss, make-up, spin out the honey in our nights
so when Death comes to scavenge
we'll have left nothing but chalky bones.

Catherine Bateson, 12/03/2013

For more Tuesday Poems, check out the Tuesday Poem blog which features a poem by Daren Kamali, guest editor Robert Sullivan. Once you've dived into this poem, check out other poems from the hub. Have a lyrical Tuesday!


Mary McCallum said...

This poem is so close to the children's book I've been writing... the bit about trusting the stars are there, the boy who collected spiders in his pockets... lovely, thank you Catherine! Btw when I visited Rockhampton late last year we went to a lovely independent bookshop down a side lane and I asked if they had your latest book - to buy for my niece who was with me - no, they didn't. Or another one by you? No and no... so he promptly ordered some. Too late for me but hopefully for someone else. Sad not to buy it while we were there though.

Cattyrox said...

Thanks for that, Mary - so sorry you couldn't get a copy of a book - disappointing.